Part of the story had already been told.
Evidence had been compiled over the years since the 1937 shootings of Boone County Sheriff Lawrence Smoyer and Constable William Wathen.
That evidence singled out two men, Marion Armstrong Cooley and Charles Orville Doody, as prime suspects in the case.
Seward County Sheriff Joe Yocum had provided that information during an historical program on the shootings in September of 2016 at the Boone County Museum.
Evidence Justifies Prosecution
The rest of the story came Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 3, during a press conference at the Boone County Courthouse. State officials confirmed that enough evidence had been compiled against Cooley and Doody to prosecute them based on today’s standards.
The shooting of Sheriff Smoyer and Constable Wathen occurred June 17, 1937, in a pasture north of Akron at the county’s western edge. Smoyer died at the scene, but Wathen survived for nearly four months before he passed away from his wounds. Wathen’s detailed written account provided many clues that led to eventually solving the case.
The announcement came 80 years to the day after William Wathen’s death.
“Today brings clarity to these deaths and provides justice for these families,” said Attorney General Doug Peterson. “These men died in the line of duty, and we honor the memory of their service.”
See the details in the Oct. 4 Albion News Print and E-Editions.